“Mabasa Family Demands Independent Autopsy in Percy Lapid Murder Case”

Roy Mabasa. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO
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The Family of Slain Broadcaster Percy Lapid Calls for Independent Autopsy

In the wake of the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid, also known as Percival Mabasa, his family is demanding an independent autopsy on the remains of Ricardo Zulueta, a former deputy security officer at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and a co-accused in Lapid’s murder.

Lapid’s brother, Roy Mabasa, emphasized the importance of an independent autopsy, stating that it would reveal the truth to the public. He expressed the family’s desire for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to determine the actual cause of Zulueta’s death, as he was initially implicated as one of the masterminds behind Lapid’s killing.

According to the Dinalupihan police, Zulueta was rushed to the Bataan Peninsula Medical Center on March 15, 2022, by his brother, Ronald. Reports indicate that Zulueta passed away due to heart failure.

The Background of the Case

Percy Lapid was tragically shot dead in Las Piñas City on October 3, 2022. Following the incident, Ricardo Zulueta and former BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag were charged as “principals by inducement” in two murder complaints related to Lapid’s and Cristito Villamor Palaña’s deaths.

Joel Escorial, a self-confessed gunman, identified Zulueta as the alleged middleman in Lapid’s slaying. Other individuals named as respondents in the case include Denver Batungbakal Mayores, Alvin Cornista Labra, Aldrin Micosa Galicia, and Alfie Penaredonda.

The case involving Percy Lapid’s killing was officially filed on October 18, 2023. Escorial, along with Bacoto, brothers Edmon and Israel Dimaculangan, and an individual known only as “Orly” or “Orlando,” were identified as respondents. The complaint against Escorial and his group was consolidated with the charges against Bantag and the others.

Seeking Clarity and Justice

The demand for an independent autopsy on Ricardo Zulueta’s remains stems from the family’s pursuit of truth and justice. By conducting an impartial examination, the family hopes to shed light on the circumstances surrounding Zulueta’s death and potentially uncover any additional information relevant to Percy Lapid’s murder.

It is crucial to emphasize the significance of an independent autopsy in cases like this, as it can provide unbiased insights into the cause of death and help determine whether there were any underlying factors that may have contributed to the individual’s demise.

By involving the Philippine National Police in this process, the family aims to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation. The PNP’s expertise and access to resources can contribute to a comprehensive analysis of the evidence, ultimately leading to a clearer understanding of the events that transpired.

The pursuit of justice is a universal endeavor, and it is essential to contextualize this case for an international audience. While the specifics may vary across different legal systems and customs, the fundamental principles of seeking truth, advocating for victims, and holding perpetrators accountable resonate globally.

Instances of violence against journalists and media professionals are not isolated incidents. They undermine the freedom of the press and threaten the fabric of democratic societies. Therefore, it is crucial to stand in solidarity with the family of Percy Lapid and support their quest for justice.

By demanding an independent autopsy and urging for a thorough investigation, the family of Percy Lapid is taking a significant step towards uncovering the truth and ensuring that those responsible for his untimely death are held accountable.

As the legal proceedings continue, it is essential for the public to remain informed and engaged. The pursuit of justice requires collective vigilance and a commitment to upholding the principles of truth and fairness.

Ultimately, the outcome of this case will not only impact the lives of those directly involved but also serve as a benchmark for the protection of journalists and the preservation of press freedom.

Source: The Manila Times

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